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WiFi won't reach whole apartment


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#1
DA IMP

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I installed this WLAN router so a desktop PC and a notebook could share an internet connection. I've seen enough of those, and have enough very basic networking experience, and a good deal of computer experience...that I could set it up without any trouble.

I configured the router to be as secure as I know how: The SSID isn't broadcasted, so only the computers that know the network name (which isn't easy to guess), can find it. The router only allows those computers' MAC addresses. And there are passwords and such.

The net works perfectly for the desktop, and does work for the notebook. But once you get the notebook as far away as the living room, the signal becomes so poor that no connection will last more than 10 minutes.

The router's a Kozumi brand, K5400GR model. Signal potency is supposed to be 2dB. Omni antenna. The distance is not even 30 meters, I reckon (you can say meters = yards, the difference is negligible at this point). The thing is supposed to reach 100m.
There are 2/3 walls in the way, but they're not 100% obtrusive, since the signal would have to travel through a wardrobe, the corner of the bedroom, and then the corner of the bathroom, to reach the living room, instead of through 100% "in the way" walls. Sure, lots of "barriers" and such...but I've seen the notebook pick over a dozen WLAN networks from the neighbors. Those that were wide open, I could even connect to with more reliability that I get from the router I installed. Needless to say, those signals surely have to face worse obstacles. Not to mention added distance. Oh, and the signal gets to the bedroom just fine...

Aside from doing something small, like moving the WLAN router like 4-5 yards closer to the living room (it's in a small studio along with the desktop PC)... I chose to buy a new antenna. Bear with me, maybe I'm just ignorant on this and they just tricked me, but from what I heard, and what the specs of this antenna said, it was supposed to augment the signal from 2 to 7dB. So I switched them, unplugged both broadband modem and router to give the whole thing a hard reset, then plugged it back in.
This, I'm doing for a friend that I visit once a week tops, so I don't get to see the results first-hand most of the time...but, after 48 hours, according to her, things are exactly the same.

How can this be? What am I doing wrong? What else could be the culprit? Maybe I just have to change a setting or something? I'm good enough to set up one of these, but not so much as to be an accurate troubleshooter. Could it be the notebook itself? Perhaps the signal reaches it just fine, but the notebook needs to send a stronger signal as well? I've seen that notebook working smoothly on other WiFi spots such as a cafe and her parents' house. And, again, it works just fine if it's close enough to the WLAN router I set up...but, obviously, the whole point of installing a WLAN is for the notebook to be anywhere in the apt. freely, and without the hassle of cables. Thus simply relocating the router to a more "center of the house" spot would be troublesome, requiring yards of cable back and forth to the modem...and there's not a decent place where to put it, where it wouldn't get kicked accidentally.
Oh...if it's relevant, both of them are PCs that run on Windows XP SP2.

Please help me on this. I spent 18 dollars on the antenna, and my friend is now convinced all we have to do is buy a more potent router...which will cost like 110 dollars...I'm assuming that, since a stronger signal didn't fix things, putting a stronger router won't do the trick either. But I wanna have a decent way to keep my friend from running to the shop and wasting more money like that.

Thank you all in advance.
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#2
DA IMP

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This shouldn't affect the reach of the signal, I guess, but...

Is it possible that just unplugging the router's power will reset its settings back to default?
I don't see why they would put a "reset to default" button on the router if all that it took was unplugging it...but now I have to add the serious concern that this thing may have lost all of its security settings many times over...and will continue to do so every single time it needs to be unplugged (and with the quality of local ISPs, that tends to happen at least once every 45 days or so).

And of course, the manuals aren't of any use in clarifying whether the setups can survive a power-off or not...

This just keeps getting better and better.

Anyways, thank you all for the time and patience.
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#3
Neil Jones

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Depends if the router's configuration was saved before you pulled the power on it.
If not, then the whole thing goes back to default settings per power cycle.
If the config is saved, its loaded again when the router is powered back up.

As to the lack of range - do some research into Wireless Lan Access Points. These and some network cable should fill the gaps nicely.
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#4
DA IMP

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As for being saved, yeah, the settings were saved a long while ago, at least a week or so must've gone by between that, and the first unplugging. Thanks!

Mmmmh...the whole point of this, is to avoid the clutter of extra cables nailed to the walls. Maybe I didn't establish that clearly enough on my first post. Installing an Access Point in the middle of the apartment is just as burdensome as moving the router itself to that location. And more expensive.

What gets me the most out of this, is how a signal increased from 2 to 7dB is just as bad...it simply doesn't make any sense.
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